Recently one of our BBBs in Michigan issued a press release warning consumers that “skimmers” had stolen almost $500,000 for consumers in their area. “Skimming” is when criminals attach a card reader to an ATM or gas pump making it look like it is part of the machine. The intention is to trick you into swiping or inserting your card into their device to capture your card information.
Often the criminals have also placed a hidden camera to see you type in your pin number. With your card information and pin number they can access your account and withdraw money. According to the press release, the Secret Service estimates over that $1 billion is stolen by skimming every year. You can view the press release from our sister BBB in Michigan here.
Obviously this is not limited to Michigan. You may remember back in November the Courier and Press reported a warning from Fifth Third Bank about skimming involving ATMs in Evansville. Here’s the link to the story.
It’s a good reminder to be aware of skimming but how do you avoid getting skimmed? Pay attention to devices that read your card like ATM machines and gas pumps. Be wary if it appears to be tampered with or the reader looks like an addition to the machine. Also try to conceal to key pad when entering your pin. This is a good practice anytime you are entering your pin number to avoid your pin being seen by a camera or someone looking over your shoulder.
Most importantly check your bank statement and report any problems to your bank. If a skimmer is taking money out of your account, they will usually try to do it in small transactions to avoid attracting attention. If you are the victim of skimming you should report it to your bank and law enforcement.
For more consumer tips, visit our website www.evansville.bbb.org.